NBA Today – Players to Watch Today, Tomorrow and Today
The NBA today officially announced the format and structure for the upcoming 2021 21 season, which will feature a Play-In Game and a Conference Final at the end of the year. Each division will play a maximum of 42 games, with each team playing three contests against every other conference opponent (assuming that the Eastern and Western Conferences has no play-in games). There will also be an NBA/NHL Interconference Play-Offs, as well as Play-In Competitions between the four major conferences. The Play-In Games is scheduled for the first two weeks of May, with the conference finals scheduled for the rest of May.
For the purposes of predicting the outcomes of future play-ins, the NBA assigns points based on the margin of victories and losses, with larger points for the winner of a Play-In Game than for a regular season game. Additionally, the NBA assigns three points for each quarter in the regular season and one point for every quarter in the Play-In games. In short, the scoring format will reward teams that win more Play-Ins and less regular season games. This makes the Play-In game one of the more important aspects of the NBA’s schedule, because a strong Play-In performance could propel a team to the NBA’s second seed or even into the playoffs, where it would have the best chance of securing an NBA Championship.
For the purposes of predicting the NBA’s winning percentage in the next ten years, we will use the same metrics that we used for the Play-In game. We will evaluate each NBA team according to its overall winning percentage in its past five seasons of basketball play. We will also evaluate each team’s offense and defense, as well as each individual player according to his/her individual statistics during the last five seasons. Once all of these statistics are assessed, we can then determine which teams will have the best chances of achieving the highest winning percentage in the next ten years. This process is called the NBA draft prospect rankings.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the first two categories, offense and defense, since they are the most critical factors in a team’s success over the long term. The offensive category will consist of the players who recorded the most points during the regular season and who are likely to achieve the most success during the NBA’s future play-offs. For the purposes of this article, we will only consider players who are currently in the NBA, since the draft lottery will be a separate event for players eligible for the NBA draft later in the decade. Players eligible for the future draft must be on an active roster for at least the next two seasons. Therefore, players who are currently in the NBA and have yet to play in the play-offs are excluded from this discussion.
After determining which players are most likely to earn NBA basketball titles during the next five seasons, we will evaluate each of the players on a case-by-case basis. We will begin with the point leaders in the regular season. These players should be considered the cream of the crop in the league, and their ranking in our NBA player rating system reflects how serious a prospect they are. The top ranking team in the future NBA playoff series will likely advance to the finals, so we will start there. In order to eliminate teams before the start of the second season in the league, we will eliminate teams in their first five games.
Starting with the team with the best players, we will move to the opposing conferences. This will help ensure that each conference has at least one team with legitimate NBA talent, so that it will be more evenly matched when the postseason begins. We will continue this process until the final player standing is decided.
Our NBA player projections for each team and each player will also take into account injuries, conditioning and potential growth. Teams that have young stars such as Andrew Bogut, Dewayne Dedmon, Ryan Anderson or Mario Chalmers can expect to have a high quality of play-ins available to them during the regular season. Teams with unproven veterans such as backups or benchwarmers can also count on solid play-ins such as rookies Jamel Ford and Thabo Sefolosha during the preseason. Players who were not among the starters during the season will have a chance to prove themselves. This is especially true for second-year players who might need to adjust to playing minutes and playing in a different system compared to the one they played in the minors or the NBA Developmental League.
There are two more groups of players that we will discuss in our NBA Today articles. The Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. We will evaluate these groups of players separately. For the Eastern Conference, we will be looking at big names such as Garnett, Allen Iverson, Chris Paul, Ray Allen, Garnett and Delly. For the Western Conference, we will be looking at upcoming stars such as Jordan Hill, Green, K.J. Leggings, Zach Randolph, DeMarcus Cousins, JaVale McGee and many others.